The best spots to eat out with kids
Eating out with the kids can be challenging but the following Auckland hotspots are great for the whole family.
Ponsonby Central, 136 Ponsonby Rd
The grown-ups will feel like kids and the kids like grown-ups. Everyone gets their own laminated menu here; tick what you'd like to order with a marker pen. Just watch out for multiple tickers - we're yet to meet a child who doesn't dig meatballs, this eatery's specialty. Open for lunch and dinner.
1171 Coatesville Riverhead Hwy, Riverhead
This brewbar and restaurant is well-equipped for kids, who can entertain themselves on the gated outdoor jungle gym. They also have high chairs and toys by the tables, and offer kid-sized portions on meals. Open for lunch and dinner.
Britomart Country Club
31 Galway St, Britomart
One of the biggest challenges in socialising with the kids in tow is having enough room for the pram, something this popular garden bar has in spades.
The older kids can keep busy colouring in, or exploring the artificial grass. They'll also love the new Kiwi-inspired menu. Open for lunch and dinner.
Pizzeria Dantes Napoletana
Ponsonby Central, 136 Ponsonby Rd
Not only are the authentic wood-fired pizzas here a guaranteed hit, this Ponsonby haunt is great with young ones. If you're lucky they'll take them into the kitchen and show them how it's done. Open for lunch and dinner.
129 West End Rd, Westmere
These guys have their very own sandpit, toys and a chalkboard out the back. The kids' menu has peanut butter and jelly bagels, boiled egg and soldiers and kid-sized plates of scrambled eggs and bacon or French toast. Open for breakfast and lunch.
447 Mt Eden Rd, Mt Eden
The name says it all, really. With all-day dining, this popular Mt Eden cafe has lion statues out the front and inside, a candy floss and popcorn cart. If you've got room afterwards, The Candyman is just across the road. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Library Cafe
55 Princes St, Onehunga
This cafe has a bouncy castle and trampoline, so it might pay to let the kids burn off a bit of energy before they tuck into their meal. Housed in a heritage building, it also has a reading lounge and children's play area with blackboard, toys and books. The kids' menu has favourites such as chicken and chips and toasted sammies, and smaller meals can be purchased from the breakfast menu. Open for breakfast and lunch.
Corner Jellicoe St and Fish Lane, North Wharf, Wynyard Quarter
This reputable Italian restaurant (owned by The Grove's Michael Dearth) gets top marks for creativity when catering for littlies. Check out their Scooter Sundays, a weekly scooter obstacle course down Fish Lane. They also have a fantastic kids' menu. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner during the week, and lunch and dinner on weekends.
The Luscious Food Store
547 Te Atatu Rd, Te Atatu Peninsula
If the weather's fine, head west and let the kids run around the large garden and play in the sandpit while you relax over your meal. The kids' menu includes mini mince pies, fish'n'chips, and they've been known to heat up their fair share of baby bottles. Open for breakfast and lunch during the week, and dinners on Saturdays.
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